COVID-19: Delhi Disaster Management Authority to discuss capping hospital charges, testing cost

Capping private hospital and ambulance charges and reducing cost of COVID-19 test will be discussed in a meeting of the DDMA to be attended by Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on June 16, amid complaints of exorbitant cost of treatment and testing.

The meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will also have on its agenda ways to empower resident welfare associations, exploring possibility of using large blocks of vacant flats as makeshift COVID hospitals, drive through labs, telemedicine facility by panel of expert doctors, according to a government notice.

The authorities will also discuss preparing large makeshift hospitals for contactless treatment of COVID-19 patients in Delhi on the pattern of NSCI Dome (Worli) in Mumbai.

Besides the LG and the Chief Minister, the revenue minister, chief secretary, General Officer Commanding (HQ) Delhi Area, Delhi Police Commissioner and other top bureaucrats will attend the meeting.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday hinted at the possibility of capping prices charged by private hospitals.

“All the hospitals have been asked to share the rates that they are charging for Covid treatment. We will decide on what to do after observing every hospital’s details,” he told mediapersons.

The opposition BJP and the Congress have requested the Lt Governor to put a cap on hospital fees for COVID patients.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor in a letter to Baijal on Saturday said that it was shocking to learn that medical bills of Covid patients with history of some other diseases is usually not less than Rs 7 lakh and runs up to Rs 15 lakh, and demanded price capping.

Delhi Congress vice president Abhishek Dutt said that exorbitant treatment cost cause unnecessary stress to the families battling the COVID-19 infection.

[Source – Economic Times]


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